I'm consistently amazed by what my archo & urbo blogging colleagues are coming up with and 2007 only confirmed this amazement. Over the New Year I gave BLYGAD's "Like-Minded Links" blogroll a much needed update and I just wanted feature some of the recent additions that I've really been enjoying lately. Happy reading!
Airoots.org | Airoots is, to me, one of the stand out blogs of 2007. Keywords here are "adventituous roots, urban forests and villages, natural cities, lost tribes, new nomads, and everything inbetween." Infinitely fascinating, Airoots brings a unique perspective and critical eye to some of the fundamental urban issues of our time, but never without a playful sense of unreality. RECENT HIGHLIGHT | A recent post entitled "Tokyo-Mumbai Remix" accurately captures the two author's own urban roots with some fantastically mashed up scenes of urban life from both cities coexisting side-by-side as if one - challenging some deeply seated assumptions about class and urbanism.
Building Minnesota | Building Minnesota is a radio series, podcast and blog by Twin Cities reporter and radio journalist Todd Melby. Todd's work offers a behind-the-scenes and often in-depth look into the Twin Cities built environs. Highly recommended if you're a TC local or simply interested in the architectural process. RECENT HIGHLIGHT | Some of Todd's recent posts reflect an age old debate in our fair city: To skyway or not to skyway. For the record, Todd is an advocate of the skyway system. I tend to fall on the other side of the fence and agree with Jay Walljasper, who recently visited the city and offered this critique: "When you glass in the city, you eliminate the 'bad' days but also all the 'good' days. That is too much of a price to pay. You miss the fresh air, the street life. You may have 20 bad days a year when you want to stay indoors, but 200 good ones you miss. I say you make the city as good as possible for the good days, and that will carry it through on the bad days." BONUS | Todd's podcast covered a great AFHMN project back in 2006.
Civic Nature | The Where Blog recently turned me on to this blog by Peter Sigrist, a Master’s student in the University of Cambridge Department of Geography. Peter is most interested where the areas of "interrelationships between environmental conservation, urban & regional planning, and international development" converge. RECENT HIGHLIGHT | Peter's latest post unearths a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, IRIN, on the effects of post-election violence in Kenya has had on regional slum dwellers.
Critical Spatial Practice | Nicholas Senn writes this blog with a wonderfully critical eye towards our built environment as a reflection (successfully or not) of how we see ourselves - individually and as larger networks of ever shifting communities. RECENT HIGHLIGHT | Nicholas' most recent offering highlights the Lesbian National Parks and Services, of which he writes: "In full uniform as Lesbian Rangers, Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan patrol parklands, challenging the general public's ideas of tourism, recreation, and the "natural" environment. Equipped with informative brochures and well-researched knowledge, they are a visible homosexual presence in spaces where concepts of history and biology exclude all but a very few."
The Mobile City Blog | The Mobile City Blog is the companion blog/ homepage to the upcoming Mobile City Conference in Rotterdam. The conference will aim at answering the following question: what happens to urban culture when physical and digital spaces merge? RECENT HIGHLIGHT | In a recent post linking Jane Jacobs, the mobile phone, and urban street life, the author highlights two articles that "can be easily associated with the work of Jane Jacobs, in which the experience of the sidewalk is central to the formation of local communities. As she stated: “word does not move around where public characters and sidewalk life are lacking.” The conclusion of both pieces is very different: One is rather positive and optimist, the other somehwat grumpy, in the ‘how technology killed the authentic experience’-category."
And finally, some BLYGAD highlights from 2007 to wrap up one year and bring us into the next.
+ BLYGAD topped out 20,000 hits just in time for 2008. What a nice way to ring in the New Year!
+ East Coast Architectural Review (eCar) recently named BLYGAD in their Top Ten Urbanism Blogs. Thanks Bradley.
+ Live Modern Blogs is now syndicating BLYGAD. Thanks Marshall.
+ BLYGAD has always been ad-free, but thanks to addfreeblog.org, we finally have the button to prove it.
+ Finally, don't forget to check out my latest experiment in online "writing": BLYGAD 2.0, it's built environs & culture streaming at it's finest!
Here's to a great "Archo-Urbo-Blogo" 2008!